Photo of Malcolm Jenkins
Malcolm Jenkins (CB)
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 204
College: Ohio St.
Conference: Big Ten
Hometown: Piscataway, NJ
High School: Piscataway
Featured Prospects
Selected by: New Orleans Saints
Round: 1
Pick (Overall): 14 (14)
Pick Analysis: The Saints continue to address their woeful secondary with the selection of Jenkins. As a versatile defender with outstanding cover skills, Jenkins fills a huge need at corner or safety. Though the team signed Darren Sharper in the offseason, Jenkins could eventually supplant the former Pro Bowler as the team's starting free safety.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis

Jenkins is regarded as the best Big Ten Conference defensive back since Michigan's Charles Woodson terrorized league quarterbacks and receivers en route to capturing the Heisman Trophy in 1997. The similarities in their game is what most impresses pro scouts, as both are known for their physicality in playing the bump-and-run, along with the ability to make game-changing plays.

The comparisons between the two continue, as most experts also envision Jenkins moving to free safety in the professional ranks, a position Woodson was moved to midseason last year with the Green Bay Packers. Jenkins, the three-time All-Big Ten Conference choice, usually plays on the wide side of the field, but often moves around the field to cover the opponent's best receiver.

Called a natural pass defender with great instincts and outstanding speed and quickness, Jenkins excels at man-to-man coverage. He tied the school career record by returning two of his 11 career interceptions for touchdowns and has also used his excellent leaping ability as a standout special team performer, having blocked three kicks during his career. In 49 games for the Buckeyes, he has never allowed a touchdown reception.

At Piscataway High School, Jenkins led his team to three consecutive state titles. The All-State and All-American choice played receiver and defensive back. He also excelled at track, winning the state title in the 400-meter dash as a junior. He took third place in the 200 meters as a junior and finished third in the hurdles as a senior at the state meet.

Most freshmen spend their first year residing on special teams at Ohio State, but Jenkins appeared in 10 games at nickel back, starting three games at that position and three more at boundary cornerback late in the season. He suffered a knee sprain that sidelined him for the final two regular-season contests, but he returned to play in the Fiesta Bowl vs. Notre Dame. He produced 37 tackles (23 solos), broke up two passes and returned an onside kick 34 yards as a 180-pounder.

Having bulked up during the offseason, Jenkins took over field cornerback duties in 2006, starting all 13 games. The All-Big Ten Conference first-team pick led the OSU secondary with 55 tackles (40 solos) that included 4.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He broke up four passes and intercepted four others, returning one 61 yards for a score in the Penn State clash. He also blocked one punt.

Jenkins was a Thorpe Award (nation's top defensive back) semifinalist as a junior. He added All-American and All-Big Ten Conference honors, as he shifted to boundary cornerback, starting all 13 contests. He produced 44 tackles (27 solo) and five stops behind the line of scrimmage. Teams refused to throw to his side of the field, as the opposition completed just 32.3 percent of passes thrown into his area. He intercepted four passes, as he returned one for a score and knocked down three other throws.

The team captain was a unanimous All-Big Ten choice and consensus All-American in 2008. He captured the Jim Thorpe Award and was a semifinalist for Bednarik Award (top defensive player in the nation). He shifted back to field cornerback, taking on the top receiver each game, as he totaled 57 tackles (34 solos) and caused three fumbles. He added three pass thefts, nine pass deflections and had four stops for loss. He also continued to excel on special teams, blocking two more punts. The opposition averaged just 3.83 yards on 60 pass attempts into his territory.

High School

Attended Piscataway (N.J.) High School...Led his team to three consecutive state titles...The All-State and All-American choice played receiver and defensive back... Also excelled at track, winning the state title in the 400-meter dash as a junior...Took third place in the 200 meters as a junior and finished third in the hurdles as a senior at the state meet.

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Positives: Lockdown corner. ... Very physical at the line, has a strong punch to knock receivers off their route. ... Attacks ballcarriers behind the line, making secure tackles. ... Also willing to assist in tackles downfield or inside. ... Effective playing off receivers as he can flip open his hips and accelerate, close quickly on the ball in front of him or change direction to mirror receivers. ... Stays with even the fastest receivers down the sideline. ... Plays free safety on occasion and has all of the tools to succeed there in the NFL. ... Excellent hands for the interception, and he has the vertical to high-point the ball and strength to fight for it. ... Can make plays with the ball in his hands.

Negatives: Creates havoc on the blitz but doesn't always finish. ... Will take chances to make a play on the ball. ... Could improve his tackling in the open field -- will occasionally drop his head instead of watching what he hits. ... Inconsistent taking on and getting off receiver blocks, and will hesitate to get to ballcarriers coming into his area. ... Must prove he has the mental discipline needed to handle getting constantly challenged as a rookie after rarely being thrown at in college.

Compares To: CHARLES WOODSON, Green Bay -- With receivers the size of Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss becoming more common, defensive coordinators realize the need for big, physical cornerbacks. When analyzing the talent at this position, Jenkins stands well above the rest of the class. He might not be flashy or have many interceptions, but he knows how to play and won't be a liability against the run.

Injury Report

2005: Sat out the Northwestern (11/12) and Michigan (11/19) games with a knee sprain.

Copyright, distributed by The Sports Xchange.